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Proposed Uber, Lyft fees in Nevada still steep

Even though transportation regulators have proposed knocking down the cost for a transportation network company to be licensed in the state, it’s still substantially higher than anyplace Uber and Lyft operate.

The Nevada Transportation Authority, working to establish the regulations for ride-hailing companies to operate, on Tuesday submitted a revised draft to the Legislative Counsel Bureau that includes a $300,000 price of admission to license an unlimited number of cars. The rules also would require payment of a regulatory assessment of 1 percent of the company’s gross operating revenue after a year of operations.

The regulations also spell out smaller operational fees for limited vehicles, ranging from $6,000 for no more than 100 vehicles in the first two years of operation to $150,000 for no more than 2,500 vehicles in the first two years of operation.

The first draft of the rules listed the cost of unlimited cars at $500,000.

The Associated Press reported a Lyft official said the highest the company pays in other cities is just more than $100,000.

Regulators have said the fee would cover the cost of additional investigators and administrators to monitor the new-to-Nevada industry. They also noted that additional staffing would protect the companies from people who illegally pose as Uber and Lyft drivers, a problem that has occurred in other cities where the companies have entered the market.

The proposed regulation also suggests a $50 fee for drivers with $10 annual renewals.

The draft regulations are still subject to revision. The Legislative Council, a board of legislators, will review the draft in a Monday meeting. The council’s revisions would be returned to the Transportation Authority for a public hearing before the three-member board considers final adoption.

The authority already solicited public comment in a pair of workshop meetings in July and took written testimony.

Lyft’s testimony proposed a $200 application fee, adding that the company would conduct background checks on drivers, inspect vehicles and keep records on contracted drivers.

The proposed regulations also would require a contracted driver to have a non-transferable decal on the lower passenger-side corner of the windshield identifying the company by number and drivers would be required to display some form of trade dress identifying the company. The companies wanted transferable identifiers for drivers using multiple personal vehicles.

Rules don’t address dynamic pricing, the practice of raising rates during busy driving times, or restrictions on passenger drop-offs near resort taxi stands.

Transportation network companies are expected to negotiate with each resort to determine where drivers can pick up and drop off customers. Companies are expected to have similar conversations with officials with McCarran International Airport and the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority.

Contact Richard N. Velotta at rvelotta@reviewjournal.com or 702-477-3893. Find him on Twitter: @RickVelotta

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